Western Pacific 805-A, an EMD FP7, pulls the California Zephyr in March 1970.

(Drew Jacksich from San Jose, CA, The Republic of California, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)


GM-EMD logo.


The EMD FP7 is a 1,500 horsepower (1,100 kW), B-B dual-service passenger and freight-hauling diesel locomotive produced between June 1949 and December 1953 by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division and General Motors Diesel. Final assembly was at GM-EMD's La Grange, Illinois plant, excepting locomotives destined for Canada, in which case final assembly was at GMD's plant in London, Ontario. The FP7 was essentially EMD's F7A locomotive extended by four feet to give greater water capacity for the steam generator for heating passenger trains.


Amtrak No. 113 leading two EMD SDP40Fs with the San Francisco Zephyr at Yuba Gap, 1975.

(Drew Jacksich from San Jose, CA, The Republic of California, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)



While EMD's E-units were successful passenger engines, their A1A-A1A wheel arrangement made them less useful in mountainous terrain. Several railroads had tried EMD's F3 in passenger service, but there was insufficient water capacity in an A-unit fitted with dynamic brakes. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway's solution was to replace the steam generators in A-units with a water tank, and so only fitted steam generators into the B-units. The Northern Pacific Railway's solution was to fit extra water tanks into the first baggage car, and to pipe the water to the engines. EMD's solution to the problem was to add the stretched FP7 to its catalog increasing the water storage capacity.

A total of 381 cab-equipped lead A units were built; unlike the freight series, no cabless booster B units were sold. Regular F7B units were sometimes used with FP7 A units, since they, lacking cabs, had more room for water and steam generators. The FP7 and its successor, the FP9, were offshoots of GM-EMD's highly successful F-unit series of cab unit freight diesel locomotives.

F3s, F7s, and F9s equipped for passenger service are not FP-series locomotives, which, although similar in appearance, have distinctive differences. This includes, but not limited to, the greater body length. The extra 4 ft (1.2 m) of length was added behind the first body-side porthole, and can be recognized by the greater distance between that porthole and the first small carbody filter grille. The corresponding space beneath the body, behind the front truck, was also opened up; this either remained an empty space or was filled with a distinctive water tank shaped like a barrel mounted transversely.

Over their production run, there were numerous detail changes including the style of side grills (notably on Canadian-built units), carbody louvres, and dynamic brake fan sizing (36 in [0.91 m] initially, 48 in [1.2 m] on later production units). Some railroads such as Southern Pacific and Canadian Pacific outfitted their units with rooftop-mounted icicle breakers for protecting dome car windows in mountain territory where icicles formed around the roofs of tunnels.


 Soo Line 2500 pulling a special train in Duluth.

(Keon McGarvey, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Original buyers

Locomotives built by EMD at La Grange, Illinois

Railroad Quantity FP7 Quantity F7B* Road numbers FP7 Road numbers F7B Notes
Electro-Motive Division (demonstrator) 1 2 7001 7002–7003 to Soo Line (Wisconsin Central) 2500A, 2500B, 2501B
Electro-Motive Division (demonstrator) 1 2 9051 9052–9053 to Soo Line 500A, 500B, 501B
Arabian American Oil Company (Saudi Arabia) 2 1006–1007 Built with 567C engines
Atlanta and West Point Rail Road 4 551–554
Atlantic Coast Line 44 850–893
Alaska Railroad 3 1 1510–1514 (even) 1507 1510-1514 built with 567BC engines
Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad 11 1600–1609, 1609 2nd 1609 1st destroyed at Mode, IL 6/28/1951 and rebuilt on a new frame with same road number and serial number
Chesapeake and Ohio Railway 16 7 8000–8015 8500–8506
Chicago Great Western Railway 3 5 116-A, -C, 116-C 2nd 116-B,D,E,F,G 116-C 1st destroyed at North Hanover, IL 6/2/1951 and rebuilt on a new frame with same road number and serial number.
Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad 10 402–411
Clinchfield Railroad 1 200 repaint into family lines paint then to Seaboard System and renumbered to 118 then To CSX
Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México 17 7 6300–6309, 6328A–6334A 6328B–6334B
Ferrocarril Sonora–Baja California 2 23035–23036
Florida East Coast Railway 5 571–575
Georgia Railroad 3 1002–1004
Louisville and Nashville Railroad 45 600–634, 663–672
Milwaukee Road 32 16 90A,C–105A,C 90B–105B 90–94 renumbered 60–64 for freight service; 93A (63A) and 104A sold to GO Transit 96A sold to Escanaba & Lake Superior Railroad re-entered service 2020
Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad 8 4 121A,C–124A,C 121B–124B
Northern Pacific Railway 2 6600–6601
Pennsylvania Railroad 40 14 9832A–9871A 9832B–9858B (even) A units renumbered 4332-4371 and B units 4150-4163 by PRR for Penn Central; 18 scattered A units 4332–4370 to Conrail
Reading Company 8 900–907 900, 902, 903 to SEPTA, renumbered 4371-4373
Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad 3 1201–1203
St. Louis–San Francisco Railway 12 5040–5051
Soo Line 5 2 501A–503A, 504–505 502B–503B
Soo Line (Wisconsin Central Railway) 1 2501A
Southern Railway (Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway) 20 6130–6149
Southern Pacific Company 16 6446–6461 6446–6451; 6453–6459; 6461 to Amtrak 110-123
St. Louis Southwestern Railway ("Cotton Belt") 1 330 Renumbered to 306 then leased to Southern Pacific as SP 6462
Union Pacific Railroad 2 2 911-912 910B, 910C Renumbered to 1498 - 1499
Western Railway of Alabama 2 502–503
Western Pacific Railroad 4 2 804A,C–805A,C 804B–805B
Totals 324 64

*Where bought with FP7.


Built 1952 for Canadian Pacific, transferred to VIA Rail as 6569, sold to West Coast Railway Association in 1995, repainted in original scheme.

Now on display in operational condition at WCRA Heritage Park, Squamish BC.

(SoftwareSimian, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)


General Motors Diesel logo.

Locomotives built by GMD at London, Ontario

Railroad Quantity FP7 Quantity F7B* Road numbers FP7 Road numbers F7B Notes
Canadian Pacific Railway 35 29 4028–4041, 4058–4063, 4066–4075, 4099–4103 4424–4448, 4459–4462 Some renumbered as 1400- and 1900- series passenger units, some later resold to Via Rail in 1978.
Ontario Northland Railway 22 1500–1521 1500, 1503–1505, 1507, 1511-1514 converted into HEP control cars for GO Transit
Totals 57 29

*Where bought with FP7.

Reading 902 at Steamtown National Historic Site.

(Photo by NPS/Bill Nalevanko, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


CP 4038 in Minnedosa, Manitoba.

(Taylor Woolston, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Preserved examples

  • Alaska Railroad 1510 and 1512, used by the Verde Canyon Railroad in Clarkdale, Arizona, on its excursion train.
  • Chicago Great Western Railway 116-A, on display, at Hub City Heritage Railroad Museum, Oelwein, Iowa.
  • Canadian Pacific Railway 4038, at Minnedosa, MB.
  • Canadian Pacific Railway 4069, in working condition and in use at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park; (West Coast Railway Association).
  • Canadian Pacific Railway 4071, renumbered as Western Maryland Railway 243, in working condition and in use at the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad.
  • Canadian Pacific Railway 4099 was later renumbered 1400. After a stint with Via Rail and Nebkota, it was reacquired by CP and given the number 1400 again. It was retired again in 2007 and is preserved on static display at the company's Ogden headquarters, as CP 1400.
  • Clinchfield Railroad 200, renumbered as Western Maryland Railway 67, in working condition and in use at the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad. It was previously used on the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad.
  • Milwaukee Road 96C, in Monon livery, inoperable at the former Indiana Transportation Museum in Noblesville, Indiana.
  • Milwaukee Road 101A, on static display (was non-operational when acquired but reportedly restored by volunteers to operable condition) in Cresco, Iowa.
  • Milwaukee Road 104C, at the Illinois Railway Museum, Union, Illinois.
  • Reading 900, at the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum in Hamburg, Pennsylvania.
  • Reading 902, on display at Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
  • Reading 903, also on display at Steamtown.
  • Soo Line 500A (né EMD demonstrator No. 9051), on display at Ladysmith, Wisconsin.
  • Soo Line 2500A (né EMD demonstrator No. 7001), restored to working condition, at Lake Superior Railroad Museum, Duluth, Minnesota.
  • Southern Railway (CNO&TP) 6133, in working condition at the North Carolina Transportation Museum at Spencer, North Carolina.
  • Southern Railway (CNO&TP) 6143 and 6147, in working condition and in use at the Stone Mountain Park at Atlanta.
  • Southern Railway (CNO&TP) 6141 and 6138 as RJ Corman 1940 and 1941 in use by the Kentucky Dinner Train operation out of Bardstown, Kentucky.
  • Western Pacific 805-A, a locomotive used on the famous California Zephyr, is preserved in operable condition at the Western Pacific Railroad Museum at Portola, California.



Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD); General Motors Diesel (GMD, Canada)
Model: FP7
Build date: June 1949 – December 1953
Total produced: 381
​• AAR B-B
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Trucks: Blomberg B
Wheel diameter: 40 in (1,016 mm)
Minimum curve: 23° (250.79 ft or 76.44 m radius)
Wheelbase: 43 ft (13.11 m)
Length: 55 ft 2+1⁄4 in (16.82 m)
Width: 10 ft 8 in (3.25 m)
Height: 15 ft (4.57 m)
Locomotive weight: 260,000 lb (120,000 kg)
Fuel capacity: 1,200 US gal (4,500 L; 1,000 imp gal)
Prime mover: EMD 567B
RPM range: 800
Engine type: Two-stroke V16 diesel
Aspiration: Roots-type supercharger
Generator EMD D-12
Traction motors: (4) EMD D-27-B
Cylinders: 16
Cylinder size: 8+1⁄2 in × 10 in (216 mm × 254 mm)
Performance figures
Maximum speed: 100–119 mph (161–192 km/h)
Power output: 1,500 horsepower (1,100 kW)
Locale: North America, Saudi Arabia